Day 11: Tosantos to Atapuerca

Day 11:  25.6 kilometers

Total:  301.0 kilometers

Such a relaxing morning! The owner Jose Luis had a rule that no one gets up before 7 becausethe floor is very creaky and we should all sleep and get well rested for our journey.  It is not only taxing physically but mentally.  It is a walk inside of your own mind and a great journey! So getting up at around 7 I just laid there on my mat reading a bit and debating what to do that day. Ready for a little climbing and enough reading for one morning I packed up all my stuff which I had sprawled out everywhere.  Stopped in the kitchen for a little lemon water and coffee and a few pieces of bread and I was ready to start walking! I asked Jose Luis for a few words for my travels and he said a beautiful prayer to me and with his thumb drew a cross on my forehead and hugged me. It really was beautiful and I felt it the whole day. Then A buen camino and hug to all of my family and with a heart filled with happiness and love I set out!  It was snowing and pretty cold but when I left the sun came out and was beautiful! I took a picture of the Albergue from the same spot the movie “The Way” filmed it! It was pretty cool and I left a heart in the snow to show everybody how much I loved the night before.

As I was walking the sun came out so fierce it felt like I was walking on the sun! It was such a special night last night that I felt like the universe was shining down on me saying yea i know that was incredible and it really happened not just a dream!  With the sun shining and my heart glowing I walked alone into the day.  My eyes started leaking which was weird because I don’t often do that but it felt so good.  I let them leak and was happy.  Tears filled with love and happiness just felt so good with the sun shining down so bright.  My feet that hurt a little bit stopped hurting and I pressed on.  It was nice at times then absolutely freezing at other times.  The hills weren’t bad but getting my feet wet did kind of suck.  When my feet get so wet like that and I am walking for hours my feet feel like bread in water just getting mushy. I crossed this one bridge that from the snow and the rain this week actually turned into a river itself! I did a gymnastic move over the bridge and jumped to one side to avoid the water and was going to keep going then I saw a rock! This rocked yelled at me ” think other people want wet feet?” Absolutely not!   So I grabbed this rock and four of his friends and threw them into the water on the bridge so people could use them as stepping stones. Random acts of kindness I think can change the world.  For me just making a little stepping stone over the water meant a lot to me and I’m sure it meant a lot to other people, when they saw a route over to the water keeping their feet dry.  I hope everyone that walks sees this and thinks to themselves when they are in a similar situation that they do something nice just to do it. Random acts of kindness can change the world!  I looked around as I walked but felt great and walked quite fast.  3.5 hours and almost 20 k later I was over the mountains and at St Juan de Ortega.  Perfect too because I was absolutely starving!

I went in and sat next to the fire and took my wet sandals and socks off and ordered a cafe con leche to warm up.  Then I ordered a tortilla con chorizo and just as I sat back down my good friend Muhamed came walking in! Most excellent! I was so happy to see him! He ordered a beer and a bocadillo and sat down with me.  That beer looked really good so I ordered one also.  We sat and ate a talked about the day and then had a cafe then were taking off.  As I walked out of the door there was GianMarco coming in! Holy moly! So good to see him again too! Was glad to see him doing alright because Achilles was hurting bad yesterday.  He sat down for some food as I left with Muhamed to walk another 6 kilometers today.

Chatting with Muhamed is a beautiful thing! He is an awesome guy and really makes me smile. So pure so genuine such a gentle heart and beautiful soul! We had fun walking together today before also.  On the top of the mountain we both screamed and heard it echo across the snow and laughed so much. We even did a reenactment of titanic with the front of the boat scene and laughed quite a bit more!  In the last leg of today it became really windy.  Like the wind was sideways and then started snowing and hailing! So cold! The hail hurt because it felt like hitting a bumble bee on a roller coaster like the Magnum at Cedar Point on the downhill part! The only thing was the downhill never stopped and there were a few million bumble bees! I shielded myself with my buff and also my trash bag poncho that I have grown quite fond of.  Muhamed and I could see our destination and once again shouted with joy! I couldn’t help but smile and felt so good even with the cold wind and wet shoes! Oh I forgot to add earlier that I changed socks at lunch which made all the difference!  Dryer socks in kind of wet shoes felt like heaven! I think I a going to do that ever day now!  Literally skipping we both were very close to the town of Atapuerca and I was flying!

I ended up jumping a ditch to the edge of the field where there were a bunch of rocks and left a little love in the form of a rock heart!  I love doing that and since there always is an overlap of people in the camino more and more people are telling me about the hearts! Today at lunch a guy came in that I passed earlier the day and was like it’s you isn’t it! Coracon en la Tierra!  I smiled and said yea isn’t it beautiful! He agreed and smiled and said that it makes him smile when he sees it and the talk at night and on the camino is who is making all of these hearts on the camino! I think it’s great that people a seeing my hearts which represent radiating love in every direction just like my mantra.  People have told me it makes them smile, some say it’s always in the right spot when they need a boost, some just shake my hand and smile.  I hope everyone enjoys my hearts on the camino! The heel slap chest pop happiness movement is really flying right now!  Hearts and love and happiness and random acts of kindness! Let’s change the world!

The Albergue de Peregrinos in Atapuerca is just a gem! 8 euros but I’m in a nice room with a comfy bed and a heater with 5 other people.  This place has a kitchen and a lovely host! I love little gems like this place!

Tomorrow I’m debating on getting up and leaving before sunrise and walking through Burgos to who knows where. If I feel good maybe a bit more bit we will see when it happens.

Until next time!  Pura Vida and Buen Camino!!!

Day 10: Grañon to Tosantos

Day 10:  20.2 kilometers

Total:  276.4 kilometers

Today started with a beautiful yoga session! Marian, Barbara, Stefano and me headed down to the salon room and lit some incense and each started doing their own flow. I felt great and just did what my body wanted and it was a great way to start the day! I left with my friends in the morning but just after we started we all went our own pace. It was a mystical morning that felt amazing.  I think i was still in heaven from the night before.  Walking amongst the clouds mountains appeared through the mist along with trees and fields.  I felt like I was on a canvas of a beautiful artist.  The white edges looks like the unfinished section of a beautiful painting.  I had fun walking in the rain and thinking a lot about everything.

I started getting a little tired after a while and the rain picked up a bit. My feet started to hurt because of the streams that flowed over the paths made it impossible to keep you feet dry!  I was almost to the next town called Viloria de pa Rioja and decided when I first saw it in the mist that I would stop for some coffee and warmth! I walked in to find my awesome friend GianMarco writing in his journal! It was such a good feeling to see a friend!  I sat down for some coffee and chatted with the hospitalero and noticed lots of bracelets and necklaces with beautifully carved pieces on it.  It turns out that he takes wood from the camino and carves it in his free time from running the Albergue there.  It was beautiful work and when I was lookng at them I saw my tattoo! He knew all about the energy behind the triskelle! I loved it and actually took a video of the Albergue and the hospitalero and his work! I bought a piece as a token of the camino and it is now hanging on my back back next to my shell.

After a few moments Barbara came it to get warm and out of the rain for a bit.  We talked and wrote and then got back to the trail. We walked a little together all the way to Belorado. Just before belorado GianMarco and I saw Martha and Anne! It was awesome!  We all walked into Belorado together and split up when GianMarco and I went to the mercado for supplies (Ashley Quinn – hahahah) for dinnerand also a few things for lunch whilst Anne and Martha grabbed some coffee!  GianMarco and I stopped for lunch on the steps near the plaza mayor before heading out back on the road!

It was a bit of a rough walk with my feet being wet all day. I felt a few blisters starting so that hurt a bit.  The scenery was still pretty amazing which made it much better.  I ended up walking a little bit in front of GianMarco and made it to the next town Tostanos just in time! There was this beautiful church built inside the mountain that we checked out before checking into the Albergue.  Dios mio! This was so beautiful for the outside and I wish I could of gone inside but it was closed.  Hakuna matata because the view from the top was amazing! Just beautiful!

Now back to the Albergue where I found out that this Albergue we stopped at was one that was in the movie "The Way"!!!  How cool is that! We are technically staying where Martin Sheen stayed at! The owner Jose Luis is really beautiful soul too who I am so glad I have been able to meet! Now what is left is to go to the bar for a beer with friends and the help makeanother episode of carbonara! The best pasta of the camino!  Love the times I am experiencing every day! My feet are sore but my body is fine and my heart is content!

We had a beautiful dinner with the family then were offered to go upstairs to the chapel.  Jose. Luis took us through a beautiful bilingual ceremony! We had Italian, Spanish, Hungarian, French and English! It was understood and felt the same.  At the end we read notes left by previous pilgrims.  It was quite emotion packed. Every 20 days Jose Luis takes the notes time top of the mountain to the church built into the mountain and burns the notes to let them go to the universe.  It’s a beautiful thing and the ceremony was just perfect.  At the end I stayed and wrote a note of my own. Actually it wasn’t a note but a poem. I hope it warms the heart of whoever reads it and all that hear it! Such incredible experiences in y camino! I don’t even know if this is real except for the blister on my toe! What an amazing experience today! I have met yet another angel on my camino and it is just so amazing!   Pura Vida siempre y buen camino!

Day 8 Longrono to Najera

Day 8:  30.2 kilometers

Total:  228.0 kilometers

This morning started with me getting up early and hanging out in the kitchen and just writing postcards! It was raining out and I was debating taking another shower because they were really warm but I decided not to. I ate half of a grapefruit with my good friends Muhamed and Barbara and then decided to hit the road.  I bundled up and cut a hole through the middle of a trash bag and threw that over me and my bag.  It looked totally ghetto but it worked wonderfully and since I cut the sides too so it would get easy over my bag, it was quite breezy so I didn’t overheat! Most excellent!  Heading out of Logrono it was raining pretty steadily and I was walking with Muhamed which was fun. We stopped at a panaderia for a nice cafe con leche y croissant. Delicioso! Perfect way to start the walk.  After the quick break we both left and I ended up saying goodbye and went ahead because in the morning I get excited and walk fast. Winding out of town was quite beautiful.  A very nice path was made for people to walk and connected all the way to Navarette.  It was nice seeing so many people from the local towns out there in the rainy morning exercising and running and biking. I also enjoyed the rain hitting my bag.  It became its own orchestra as I walked in the rain.  Ta ta ta ta ta ta ! Ta ta ta ta ta ta ta! It was actually enjoyable and I liked it.  I kept this rhythm even when the rain stopped with my very own sound effects. A very nice morning even with the rain!

The rain eased up as I was getting to Navarette which was nice so I took my trash bag off. I walked through and smelled some bread being baked. I needed to grab just a little snack! Fresh from the oven and still warm I ate the whole baguette over the next 4k!   Most of the town was still closed but the panaderia I found off the main route was totally worth it!  There weren’t any hills really today just a few bumps here and there.  It was wild how the wind would change and how cold it became at times!  I would go from being toasty at times to absolutely freezing!  I put my trash bag on a few more times just to radiate heat back to me and it did help quite a bit!

I made it to Ventosa just as it was getting pretty freezing out.  I walked up to the church because it looked pretty spectacular.  I actually walked up with an old lady who was going to church to pray.  We talked back and forth which was fun on the walk up the steps.  She told me where the cool picture spots were for pilgrims. She was happy and I enjoyed talking to her for a bit.  I put my bag down outside and went inside the church and sat in the back and just looked around. It was absolutely beautiful! People coming in for mass sitting down and all the artwork- whoa!  Oh and when the lady and me made it to the church, the bells started ringing! It was music to my ears! Actually when it was a few kilometers away I heard them ring and said to myself, man i wish I could be up close when that happens!  The universe rocks because 20 minutes later I was next to the church and it was ringing!

From Ventosa to Najera it was a long 11k that was cold and also slippery in the mud at times but the vistas still were epic! I passed a few wine companies that used the vineyards that I was walking through which was pretty cool! I saw a giant bull billboard just like the one I drove by in between Malaga and Antequera!  Super cool! Making it into Najera it was cool going from the new city to the old part.  I really like the old city look better and also the small towns too!

Now I’m in Najera ready to take a break.  I sat down for some calamari and a cup of wine and wrote some postcards and just enjoyed being inside and off my feet! Then I went around exploring the town a bit and then found Stefano, Muhamed, and Gian Marco!!!   It was awesome! I was so happy to see them and instantly felt better! We all went to the Municipal Albergue together and checked in, showered up, rested and wrote in our journals. I felt great to be home again!  The volunteers that run this Albergue are just absolute gems! You feel the love when you see them and talking to them you feel it even more.  Marian actually even took Stephano, Gian Marco and me to the supermarket on the other side of town when we told her we were going to make dinner for everybody!

Once again it is an epic food show with the most delicious food for half the cost of going out! And it also fills the whole Albergue with the most amazing smells of homemade meals.  We pushed the tables together and put out the wine and the feast began.  It was incredible! The food the laughs the smiles all was amazing and made for another memorable day!  In the morning we also had a great breakfast together with more smiles and laughs and good vibrations! It was actually hard to leave this Albergue the next day not because it was snowing but because the love was so powerful there! In the eyes of Marian you could see the love and she was so amazing.  I really think that this was another angel along my way. Truly a beautiful soul and can’t wait to see her again down the road of life! She gave us a little yellow arrow token and we hugged good bye and were off!  Pura Vida y buen camino!

Adventure on

My First Trail Angel

I started off today just relaxing and slept in a little bit. Then I headed over to the train station and bought my train ticket to St Jean Pied de Port!  Holy moly! It was a rush! It actually was a train to Cambo les Bains then a bus from there to SJPDP. Well this gives me the morning and afternoon to explore! Of course I start out with my push-ups then decide to go out for a walk.  It’s a grey day but the sun pokes out here and there so it’s nice.  Lots of people are out walking around.  I see a bunch of tents on the other side of the river and go to explore. It is a farmers market and that makes sense since it is Saturday! I cruised through enjoying the festivities of all kinds of people picking up fruit, vegetables, bread, jamon, queso, beautiful flowers, and many other things.  On my way in I passed a beautifully stand that smelled so good with its homemade soaps and incense.  I looked and thought maybe I will come back and pick something up later.  I walked through trying. Samples of bread and cheeses and jamon.  That just kind of got me hungry so I went off the market to a place a bit less crowded.

I found a great place with a few people outside and a packed inside so I knew it must be good.  I chose the plat de jour which was an excellent choice.  A little filet, savory fries, soft flaky pastry, fresh lettuce drizzled in vinegar and olive oil and some delicious bread! The meal came with a whole bottle of delicious water and some very tasty coffee!  What a treat.  I sat out there with a few other people and enjoyed my meal.  I heard music going on and it sounded familiar.  No way – it was acoustic bob marley!   He is one of the greats and his music is known worldwide.  It was a beautiful lunch!  Finishing up I had some more time so went walking some more just enjoying the streets.  Just talking side street snifter side street enjoying the shops and bars I found myself back at the main part of the farmers market. So I walked through again and ended up smelling that sweet scented soap place.  I looked a little closer this time and while the owner was helping another person I smelled some of the soaps and thought it might be a good idea to get some soap so I don’t stink along my journey!  Nah I should be good but I love incense and saw some nag champa there! Love that scent and was thinking about getting some.  What I really wanted was a new scent to represent my journey that when I smell again I get flooded with the emotions and joy and memories that lie ahead of me today.  Magically as if it was blinded from me before sat a green box.  I picked it up smelled it and loved it. Looking at it it was a chakra opening blend and it was for the heart!  Once again my mantra comes I to action on my way,

I am pure love radiating out in every direction!


It was beautiful and we started talking a bit more and her eyes lit,up when I said I wasn’t staying longer in Bayonne because I was going to start my camino!  Her eyes lit up along with her magical smile.  I felt a warmth coming from her that you don’t get from every person.  She had to be an angel.  I pulled out from my sash in my life bag my palo santo and asked if she has heard of it before.,  she smelled it and her eyes lit.up even more.  We talked about the benefits of natural things in our world and also how they help,our spiritual world.  We came upon the subject of sage which I love to use to smudge and she says that she has it in her garden at home and eats a leaf every day and hasn’t been to the doctor since she started! What a beautiful soul!  After all this time I realized I had not officially introduced myself to this angel in front of me! We exchanged names and I found her name to be Valerie!  Valerie was excited about our crossing of paths and explained that it wasn’t by chance that I came back.  I came back because we were meant to be. I loved that! Her eyes lit,up even more as I smiled and she said she had a gift for me! I a as grinning more than anything that I decided to come back to the market to her stand!  Her gift to me was one of her homemade soaps.  This one was special. It was made of sage. Perfectly natural and organic and biodegradable makes it good to use and it won’t hurt pachamama! So if need be I can take a quick bath in a chilly river to get clean! The sage soap smells so amazing and I will cherish it along my journey!  I can’t believe I talked to an angel today and am so excited to officially begin my journey even though my way has already begun the moment I landed in Spain! This is such a beautiful world filled with such amazing people! I can’t wait to experience everything that lies ahead but first I a going to just sit here and breathe.  It all feels so good and I’m beaming light right now! I feel like walking the camino might not be hard at all because right now I’m flying and feel lighter than air! With that we said our goodbyes and both of us our excited to see when our paths cross again! Buen camino and Pura Vida! Adventures!